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Politics of Beauty

6th - 28th September 2018

This exhibition brings together four artists from both ends of the M62 whose works can be said to deal in some way with the idea of beauty and its political connotations.

Western beauty is still epitomized in the Ancient Greek ideal of the smooth and perfect human figure, usually naked to emphasize the unblemished skin and smooth curves of youth. Edmund Burke famously surmised in 1756 that beauty is usually inherent in smallness, smoothness and delicacy in a social context, thereby connoting feminine sexuality and love. E F Schumacker posited in 1973 that economically ‘small is beautiful’, especially ‘as people mattered’. The ideal of beauty and its aesthetic has been appropriated by contemporary consumer society using images of ‘beauty’ to sell everything and anything, from cars to holiday destinations, from lipstick to mobile phones, and from lifestyles to relationships. In doing so beauty becomes politicized.

Chrissy Collinson

But what happens to beauty when nature and time happen? Pleasing decay, the picturesque beauty that is captured in Chrissy Collinson’s paintings and drawings is what happens. As art objects they are certainly beautiful and jewel like, being small and perfectly detailed. But the subject matter depicted is the effect of entropy – time and nature – and the roughness and irregularity it creates on the unseen urban architecture and landscape within the city: the city in this case being Chrissy’s home city of Hull.

All Turns to Rust #1

Chrissy CollinsonOil on Board£450

All Turns to Rust #2

Chrissy CollinsonOil on Board£450

All Turns to Rust #3

Oil on BoardChrissy Collinson£450

Barricade #1

Chrissy CollinsonOil on Board£450

Barricade #2

Chrissy CollinsonOil on Board£450

Blueflake #2

Chrissy CollinsonOil on Board£450

Blueflake #3

Oil on BoardChrissy Collinson£450

Bolthead #1

Chrissy CollinsonOil on Board£450

Bolthead in Pink & Rust

Chrissy CollinsonOil on Board£450


Oil on BoardChrissy Collinson£450

Destiny #2

Chrissy CollinsonOil on Board£450


Chrissy CollinsonOil on Board£450

Under the Bridge

Oil and acrylic on canvas, 201840cm x 50cm £700

Josie Jenkins

Liverpool based artist Josie Jenkins’ paintings reflect her time spent during residencies in the Chinese city of Xiamen, a city undergoing rapid industrialisation. It is a city is surrounded by a landscape of natural beauty and this can be glimpsed in Josie’s rendering of the city’s architecture set against a backdrop of distant hills and mountains: the manmade presence is in stark contrast to the beauty of the loosely painted blue and green hills. The compositions and paint become a metaphor for the changes the city as a whole is undergoing from the impact of western consumer society.

After Thomas Cole

Josie JenkinsAcrylic Ink and acrylic on canvas, 2018200cm x 160cm£2,000

Building Site

Josie JenkinsOil and acrylic on canvas, 2018 40cm x 50cm £700

Bus Stop

Josie JenkinsOil and acrylic on canvas, 201885cm x 55cm £800

Container Yard

Josie JenkinsOil and acrylic on canvas 40cm x 50cm £700


Josie JenkinsOil on canvas board15cm x 15cm£300

Signs in the Street

Josie JenkinsOil and acrylic on canvas, 201840cm x 50cm£700

Tree Socks #1

Josie JenkinsOil on linen60cm x 70cm£800

Tree Socks #7

Josie JenkinsOil and acrylic on canvas, 201885cm x 70cm £850

Paul Collinson

Paul Collinson uses the smoothness of the painted surface in his paintings to represent the hyper-real beauty of modern consumer society. Within the modern shopping centre is all that is beautiful and sexual, both virtually and real. Even the holiday destination of historic Middle Eastern ruins is not immune from the advertising industry’s sexualisation of celebrity and the Western standards of beauty.

Temple of Ancient Virtue

Paul CollinsonOil on canvas, 2010120cm x 180cm £3,500

Return to Order

Paul CollinsonOil on canvas, 201766cm x 82cm £1,200


Paul CollinsonOil on canvas, 2017120cm x 150cm£2,250

Dreaming of the Middle Ages

Paul CollinsonOli on canvas, 2017120cm x 150cm £2,250

Et in Arcadia lego

Paul CollinsonOil on canvas, 2012120cm x 180cm £3,500


Paul CollinsonOil on canvas, 2015120cm x 150cm£2,250

Adam & Eve

Paul CollinsonOil on canvas, 201791cm x 120cm £2,000

Garden of Earthly Delight

Paul CollinsonOil on canvas, 2016120cm x 150cm £2,250

Winter Solstice, Stac an Armin

(at St Mid-winter Kilda) John ElcockAcrylic on canvas, 2014122cm x 92cm£950

John Elcock

John Elcock’s paintings provide the viewer with respite from the contemporary excesses of beauty aesthetics by finding a beauty in a ploughed field, and a lump of stone.

By rendering a more contemplative landscape of the mundane, that ever present beauty that we ourselves can find is celebrated in a quiet manner.

John’s paintings suggest a beauty that is based on more than appearances, and how beauty is something that invokes feelings of love.

Chingle Hall

(A peculiar Lancashire hall.) Acrylic on canvas, 2018 30cm x 30cm £495

The Hollow Mountain (Mynydd Braich-goch)

Exhibited at the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2018Acrylic on canvas, 2017 30cm x 30cm£1,500

The Decoy

The Duck Decoy at Hale Oil on canvas, 2016. 40cm x 40cm£495

Phos Hilaron

Hale Shore meets JerusalemOil on canvas, 2018. 76cm x 51cm £800

Floreat Mossleiam

A winter sky over Mossley Hill Acrylic on canvas, 2016 45cm x 30cm£385

Quartz, Erratic

Craig Cau, Cadair Idris Acrylic on canvas, 2017 92cm x 122cm £995


Download the "Angels and Open Windows" Exhibition Catalogue Download 'Strokes of Colour 2017' Exhibition Catalogue

Placing an order for a painting

If you wish to purchase one of the paintings please email and provide your name, contact number and the title(s) of the painting(s) you are interested in purchasing.

Confirmation of your order

We will acknowledge receipt of your order and issue an invoice. Paintings will be sold on a strict first come first served basis. We strongly recommend that you visit the gallery in person to see the actual painting. In the event that you are not totally satisfied with your purchase we will refund the cost of the painting in full so long as it is returned in the condition in which it was sold.

We raised £15,000!!!

28th June 2018

** UPDATE **

Thank you to everyone who donated and bought - this will make a huge difference to the lives of so many people. Thank you to Sue Poole from Monkton Nursery School who convinced me to do this and who chased up all the artists and friends who donated artworks - you are amazing!!!

Download and view the Auction Catalogue

Impressions of Landscape at the Corke Gallery at night

Main Gallery

Gallery 2

Gallery 2

Gallery 3


Peter Philip, Clifford Sayer, John Vesty

Thursday 10 - Saturday 26 May 2018

The new ‘Portraits’ exhibition features 60 original paintings by four artists who all have a distinctive style and approach.

PETER PHILIP is representational painter working mainly in oils who depicts subjects that are part of everyday life. Inspired by traditional classical paintings he paints contemporary subjects firmly establishing his compositions in the present day.

CLIFFORD SAYER has always focussed on the figurative , very much influenced by Carravagio, Velasquez, El Greco, Picasso, Degas, Manet and Freud. In 2010 Clifford started the ‘Literalist’ painting movement, emphasising the meaning of painting for paintings sake, thereby the term 'Literalism' was born. This latest series of paintings celebrate natural light and form in a fresh and immediate style.

JOHN VESTY celebrates the nude in an impressionistic style, touches of humour and some almost presented like slabs of bare flesh which resulted in the original exhibition of 21 paintings being banned because ‘council staff’ found it offensive because it featured older ladies naked or wearing just a hat! It’s hard to believe but it was in Cromer in Norfolk – see the press report in the Telegraph at - ‘Partial View’ the painting pictured in the press article is actually in the show and available for sale.


Thursday 13 April - Saturday 5 May 2018

Grace Barker

Personal recollections of my natural homeland in the Scottish Highlands and upbringing in central Africa, specifically Malawi and Zimbabwe, inform the eclectic abstract paintings, characterised by an aesthetic drawn from African and Western cultural memories.

Inspired by the colourful wall paintings of the Ndebele women of southern Africa who decorate the walls of their homes with abstract symbols to express themes of cultural resistance, continuity, aspiration and celebration, I find my art practice to be an amalgam of what I perceive as a dual cultural identity best described as my inescapable ‘Two Tribes’.

There appears to me to be an affinity between the African tribal and Scottish clan systems, and just as the Northern Ndebele were displaced in a Zulu diaspora, I find a relevance in Scottish clan history with the Highland clearances and exodus of dispossessed people. This leads me to be interested in concepts of ‘displacement’ and material choices become important in the making of the work.

The square format favoured relates to the textiles, kilts and quilts that identify both tribes and clans. I enjoy the concept that by hanged the work in any orientation the painting may offer up a surprising new perspective.

Lisa Goodwin

Flesh as a subject is a beautiful, natural aspect of the human form which can conflict the emotions desire and revulsion, visualise various forms of weight and even dramatic folding of skin; it is these aspects I find truly fascinating. Within my oil paintings, the abstraction of these organic forms becomes the forefront of investigation. The abstract allows me as a painter to stretch the boundaries and perceptions of the flesh, creating new forms which have been manipulated from various existing sources and observations. The abstract also allows the viewers and I greater conversation with the painting’s forms, evoking perhaps sympathies or contrastingly revulsions for the bodily painting.

There is reference to both bodily and landscape contours within the ambiguous paintings with each beginning with no end composition in mind. They are built with a continuous method of slow, looking, fast painting and consistently share a specific flesh toned palette.

At present the abstracted flesh battles with an ephemeral atmosphere contrasting the weight of solid flesh forms against a clouded space of memory and void.

Olivia Maddocks

Notions of structure and chaos initially informed my work to create a series of abstract paintings that depicted structured geometric forms and chaotic watercolour background. Over time my practice has moved away from exploring chaos and structure; with my work becoming more concerned with exploring where the boundaries lie between painting and sculpture and whether they can be broken.

Using elements of both painting and sculpture in my work I deliberately confuse the boundaries to leave the viewer questioning whether my work is a sculpture or a painting often presenting paintings like sculptures and sculptures like paintings. Through this my practice has recently moved into installation where my abstract paintings have started to come to life. Drawing back on the original themes of chaos and structure I create interactive spaces which invite the viewer to become part of the work by moving the painterly sculptures around.

Matt Read

I work in a wide range of media both traditional and non-traditional with which I am interested in portrayal of the figure, character, but mainly the human condition.

My work combines elements of abstraction, realism and surrealism. I create work around the idea of value, and how it can and will change through time and occurrence.

I use comedy and bright colours to raise the question of value within a subject.

Thank you for your interest in the Corke Gallery

The gallery regularly holds private views for each show as well as putting on talks by exhibiting artists and other interesting speakers who visitors have expressed an interest in hearing. Tickets to these events are free so if you would like to be invited or hear about what is planned please email with 'Subscribe' in the subject box so I can add your name to the mailing list or select the link below

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Exhibition Archive

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Please call 07773 287827 to make an appointment to see the exhibition outside normal opening hours.